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Ebola outbreak causes expat evacuations from Guinea

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With the suspected ebola virus death toll up to 84 in Guinea, foreign mining companies have locked down operations and evacuated some staff.

The Guinean government has said the total reports of the world’s most infectious disease have risen to 134, with four new cases reported since Tuesday.

Cases have also been reported in neighbouring countries Liberia and Sierra Leone, and two people from Guinea have been quarantined in Gambia.

The outbreak has been going for two months in the south east of Guinea, where the country’s main iron ore reserves are located.

Guinea is the world’s top exporter of bauxite for aluminium production, and also has deposits of gold.

Reuters has reported that mining firms are more concerned about the disease in the densely populated capital of Conakry than in the remote mining sites of the interior where controls are easier to implement.

Global mining giant Vale has removed six international staff from Guinea.

A spokesperson for Vale said that local employees have been given leave from work until there is more accurate information about the risks of the disease.

Neighbouring Senegalhas closed its borders to Guinea, and countries in the region have banned the sale and consumption of bats, which are a regional delicacy and a vector for the disease.

Ebola has a fatality rate of up to 90 per cent.

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